This blender soap is wonderful for the home soap maker who wants to make soap for home use and to share with family and friends. This recipe makes almost half a pound of soap, or about 8 bars. It is a mild soap that has skin conditioning qualities and a nice bubbly lather that feels pleasant against the skin. This soap can be used in the shower and at the sink–it is mild enough for daily use. And, because you’re making it yourself, you can make it smell like whatever you wish!
Note: If you like the idea of green tea soap but don’t want to make it yourself, I sell this bar (with enhanced skin-conditioning ingredients like shea butter) at my Etsy shop with free shipping. You can find the green tea soap for sale here.
SOAP MAKING PRIMER
Just to get this out of the way, there is no way you can make soap without lye. Soap is basically defined as the chemical reaction between lye (a base) and fats (an acid) called saponification. This chemical reaction can’t take place without lye, which means no soap.
That said, after this chemical reaction is complete, there is no longer any lye left in the soap–it has all been made into soap along with your fats! This soap recipe is mild on the skin, and when properly aged for six weeks before use, no lye remains.
Lye is a caustic base, which means it will burn you if you get it on your skin. Safety glasses should be worn; a pair of safety gloves and a long-sleeved shirt wouldn’t hurt, either. As another safety precaution, an open bottle of vinegar should always be at your side when making soap. Vinegar is a mild acid, and it will neutralize the lye if you get some on you. If you do, just pour the vinegar straight onto your skin.
Using a blender for soap making is very fast and easy, but extra caution should be practiced when doing so. As you may have experienced, sometimes blenders can “burp” after mixing liquid ingredients, releasing trapped air bubbles that exist in the mix. You must be very cautious of this, and make sure you do not allow any splashing or “burpage” to be released into your face! Always shake or tap the blender to release these potential large air bubbles before removing the lid from blended soap.
Here are safety precautions to follow:
- ALWAYS pour your lye into the water and NEVER pour water into lye. Doing so will cause an explosion that will definitely ruin your day, and potentially send you to the hospital
- Wear eye protection
- Protect your skin from splatter and splashing
- Keep pets and children away from your lye at all times
- Always keep the lid on the blender when it is in motion
- After your soap has traced, tap the blender (still with the lid on) on your kitchen counter to release any air bubbles before removing the lid.
Note: All ingredients for soap making are measured by weight, not volume. Since you are working with a chemical reaction, weights provide a more accurate measure than volume. If you plan on making small batch soaps at home often, invest in a digital postal scale, which is available from any office supply store. They vary widely in price, so just get the cheapest one available; it will be accurate enough for your soap making.
- Green Tea: Studies have documented the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea when applied topically . Green tea applied to the skin can can reduce sun damage and help skin problems like papulopustular rosacea. However, in this recipe the benefits will be limited as exposure to air decreases the effectiveness of green tea for these purposes. For this reason, consider the green tea in this recipe to be more for color, and is an optional ingredient. You can also substitute black tea if you’d like.
- Distilled Water: Using distilled water is not mandatory, but undistilled water will incorporate the minerals and chemicals in the water to your soap, which can cause discoloration and other issues. You can buy gallons of distilled water at any grocery store.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is a wonderful moisturizer for the skin because it attracts external moisture to the skin and holds it there, while at the same time providing a barrier against your internal moisture from escaping. And it does not block natural skin functions. When it comes to soap making, the cheaper the olive oil, the better. Olive pomace oil (very low grade) is wonderful if you can find it. Otherwise, just purchase a cheap brand of olive oil. But beware! Many manufacturers are diluting their olive oils with other oils to decrease costs. Make sure the oil you are buying is 100% pure olive oil.
- Coconut oil: This is very popular in soap making and with good reason. Coconut oil has wonderful lathering and moisturizing properties, and makes a good hard bar of soap.
- Sugar: Increases the bubbly lather
- Salt: Increases a soap’s hardness
- Essential Oils: Feel free to use your favorite scent in this soap. I like to use lemongrass or lemon because it fits the “tea time” theme, but use whatever you like best. It is highly recommended, however, that you only use pure essential oils for soap making; synthetic scents do not always react well in the soap making process, and could cause your batch to fail (you’d know it if you saw it).
- Molds: I find that the best molds for home soap making are empty nut milk, coconut water, or similar containers. Just rinse them out thoroughly before use, and cut the tops off so you can easily pour your soap into them. After the soap is hard, simply tear the box away and recycle.
This recipe will fill a standard-sized blender about half way full. You really don’t want to make any more than this because you want enough room in the blender for the liquid to move and mix after you turn the blender on. Because there is lye here, oozing soap out of the blender is not something to encourage.
- 1 green tea bag (you can use black tea)
- Olive oil: 14 ounces
- Coconut oil: 6 ounces
- Distilled water: 7.6 ounces
- Lye: 2.8 ounces
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Sugar: 1 tsp
- Essential oils: 2 tsp
- 1 empty box from, say, coconut water or nut milk (at least 32 ounces in size)
Measure your lye into a small bowl and set aside.
Get your essential oil bottle ready with the lid open and the dropper popped out. Have your teaspoon at the ready, too.
Measure your distilled water into a container, then heat it until it is warm (if you wish you can heat it in a microwave). Pop the tea bag into the water and let it steep until the tea is brewed. When cool, transfer the tea into a jar with a lid. Make sure you remove the tea bag, squeezing it thoroughly to extract all of the liquid.
Wearing your protective gear, slowly pour your premeasured lye into your tea. The addition of the lye will cause a few things: 1) your solution will get cloudy and 2) it will get very hot. This is normal.
Leave your lye solution sit until it reaches about 90F (this may take a few hours) and when the lye is completely dissolved in the tea.
Measure your oils into a saucepan and heat over low heat until your coconut oil melts.
You want the temperature of your lye/tea solution and your oils to be the same, about 90F.
Pour your oil into your blender, then add your lye/tea solution. Using the blender on the lowest, slowest setting possible, blend for about 15 seconds.
Stop the blender, shake it to remove any air bubbles then remove the lid. Add in your salt and sugar, and your essential oils. Place the lid back on your container.
Blend for an addition 15 to 30 seconds, or until your soap traces fully (to check for tracing, dip a spoon into your soap and drizzle it over your soap; if your soap leaves a mark (“trace”) behind that takes a few seconds to sink back in, trace has been reached.
Pour your soap into your mold and carefully tap your mold on the counter to release tiny air bubbles. Because blender soaps trap a lot of air in the mix, some air bubbles are inevitable in your final bar and tapping the mold, as you would a cake pan, will help minimize this. Leave your soap sit undisturbed overnight or for about 8 hours.
After it is hard, tear off your mold and slice your soap into bars using a knife.
Soap should age 6 weeks before use. Frequently people leave soap sit for only three weeks but this aging process is important because the chemical reaction between the lye and fats is not yet complete at three weeks. Leaving the soap sit until the chemical reaction is complete will:
- Make the bar harder, which means it will last longer
- Make the soap more mild for your skin